pedal poll/Sondo vélo

You can make an impact by collecting cycling data anywhere in Canada

Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo is returning June 2022.

Building on the success of 2021, volunteers stationed across the country will observe cyclists pass by, collecting valuable data on who is biking and where. 

Join us and invite others to participate in Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo, Canada’s National cyclist count! We will provide instructions for communities to collect data so it can be compared regionally, nationally, and internationally.

What is Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo?

Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo is a chance to evaluate the state of cycling in our communities. Together we get a “snapshot” of what cycling looks like in communities across Canada, at the same time and the same way, year over year.

Sondo Vélo/Pedal Poll is open to everyone. We invite and encourage everyone to participate and count people on bikes. In our Focus Communities.  VCB works with local organisations and individuals to establish a more systematic approach to the count. We work to identify the important cycling routes for that community, identify specific locations on those routes, and then create a count schedule for volunteers to cover a full day of counting.

In 2021 there were 14 Focus Communities VCB partnered with. But volunteers were counting in 68 communities across the country. Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo has now grown to 30 Focus Communities. Increasing the number of Focus Communities will give everyone a better picture of cycling in Canada for 2022. The results of 2022 will also help grow Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo in 2023 and beyond.

The data collected, whether in a Focus Community or not, helps build the case for more, and better, cycling infrastructure. The data is there for everyone to use to advocate for access to safe cycling choices for everyone, everywhere.

You can be a part of this by signing up to help out with Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo.

reimagine the future

Pedal Poll/Sondo Vélo provides the opportunity to:

woman wearing mask holding bicycle

Identify who is cycling and where

We’re seeing more bikes and we want to know who’s riding them, where, and how much.

The National Active Transportation Strategy is supporting more infrastructure in our communities. This infrastructure should be enabling more people to ride; safe and happy. 

To make sure we get the most of this investment, we need to know who is using it. Because what gets measured matters.

Women biking

Work toward inclusion

Pedal Poll helps us learn about how diverse Canadians experience cycling by including communities that may get traditionally overlooked from info gathering and infrastructure improvements.

We know women and racialized people are disproportionately excluded from cycling. One step toward inclusion is to measure what is currently happening. That’s why we ask people to record the perceived age, gender, and ethnicity of each cyclist they count.

We understand that this is a sensitive topic and we are doing what we can to be a part of the solution to systemic racism and gender inequity. Learn more about our plan below.

woman holding sign that says think global act local

Address climate change

Cycling for transportation is an important strategy to address climate change, but it has often been overlooked.

In Canada, 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions are related to transportation. It’s estimated that a major increase in cycling could cut that to only 14%. Considering how fun, convenient, healthy, and affordable cycling can be, it makes sense to get on two wheels and unlock the potential!

According to the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, we have a “once in a lifetime responsibility” to start embracing a “greener, cleaner, decarbonized economy” as the new normal.

share our vision

Equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in cycling

Pedal Poll was developed with a team of professionals and academics across Canada, representing a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Team members are motivated to create a bike-friendly Canada and are committed to making cycling more equitable.

This ongoing project brings together diverse Canadians using a citizen science approach. We aim for diversity among counters to be reflective of the communities in which they count. We count in a wide range of communities, with and without existing infrastructure. Our approach is based on research into best practices to help us be as sensitive and considerate of difference as possible.

Here are some of the resources used to inform our count design:

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